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Not Without My Daughter Paperback – July 1, 2004

3.7 out of 5 stars 370 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Betty Lover met the perfect "dark stranger" in a Michigan hospital. Her Iranian therapist, Dr. Sayyed Bozorg Mahmoody, became her husband and the father of their daughter, Mahtob. Despite the vicissitudes of the Iran-U.S. hostage crisis, Betty and he flourished until their summer "vacation" in Iran in 1984. The next year and a half were a nightmare. Betty and Mahtob, held hostage by Mahmoody and his family, were subjected to Islamic fundamentalism, Persian nationalistic fanaticism, and a life of squalor. This compelling tale of their terror and escape from Iran is recommended for most libraries. Literary Guild alternate. David P. Snider, Casa Grande P.L., Ariz .
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Compelling drama... fascinating, if disturbing... a moving story of one person's fortitude, courage and faith" The New York Times Book Review "The horrific situation in which Betty Mahmoody found herself would give any loving mother nightmares. Here is an amazing story of a woman's courage and total devotion to her child that will have you rooting for them along every inch of their treacherous journey" -- Susan Oudot Woman's Own

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers; New Ed edition (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552152161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552152167
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (370 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I would advise you all to read her follow-up book to "Not WIthout My Daughter" called "For the Love of a Child". Betty WAS NOT LYING in any part of her book. She has proof of all her experiences and the way she escaped, namely, her stamped passport in Ankara, Turkey. Her ex-husband Moody, recently published his own side of the story is his book "Lost WIthout My Daughter" where he says Betty lied about everything, but he offers no concrete proof of this. Betty has her bus tickets, passport stamps and valid witnesses to the proof of her escape from Moody's wicked claws. More proof? Mahtob, her daughter, who is now an adult has repeatedly refused to acknowledge her father because her trust was betrayed as a child. Surely, as a grown woman, Mahtob is able to make her own decisions and her decisions stand as proof of what both she and her mother went through to get away from this madman (who has lied repeatedly). Also, this book (and the movie) was not meant as an affront to the Iranian culture. Quite the contrary, Betty goes out of her way in the book to relate the fact that it was the kind and compassionate Iranians who helped her escape from Moody's clutches. She received NO HELP from the U.S. state departments. People should remember that this is an honest depiction from HER standpoint and what SHE WENT through. She is only speaking for herself and no one else. As for Moody, well, he is obviously a bitter old man now. Perhaps he does feel loss and anguish for Mahtob, but he did bring the situation upon himself. If Mahtob refuses to have anything to do with him, it is her decision and who can blame her? It is time for people to realize that Betty's book was factual and not exaggerated in any way.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER is one of the very best books that I have ever read. My only regret is that I can't give this book more than 5 stars. Betty Mahmoody is very courageous for telling her story.

This is a story about an American housewife who goes to Iran with her husband and daughter. Her husband decides to keep her in his homeland against her will. She is a virtual prisoner at the mercy of her corrupt husband. Her basic human rights were violated, rights that any ordinary person takes for granted. She finally finds help to get back home but the journey isn't easy.

This book gives a really positive message which is that there is good in people all around the world. There were many Iranians who were willing to help her no matter what the consequences were.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in equality and human rights. Also, on the same topic I recommend any books by Jean Sasson.
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By A Customer on March 12, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book. I have read through it a bunch of times and I always find it just as compelling. In a later review, I will get into that one more. In the meantime, I want to comment on the criticisms I see over and over. You accuse her of being biased. Let's consider some facts. Betty Mahmoody went to Iran with her daughter. That is a fact. Her husband would not let her leave. That is a fact. She was held against her will. Yes, I know she could have theoretically forced a divorce which would have gotten her deported but her daughter would have been stuck there. She was not allowed to leave freely and on her own terms simply because she was a woman. That is a fact that is written into the country's law. Criticize her if you feel you must. But just remember that she was held against her will just beacause of her gender. There is no justification for that. Please, tell me. What defense could her husband possibly have?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
My parent’s divorce wasn’t the most amicable one out there, although you wouldn’t know it because they’re pretty good friends now. At the time, my dad was living and working in Mexico as a surgeon, which meant that every other weekend found my brother and I listlessly cooped up in my dad’s clinic in Zaragoza, a very poor community on the outskirts of Juarez. People made their homes out of cinder blocks, durable cardboard, and any other supplies they could find. It was like night and day compared to where we lived. My dad’s common law wife would take charge of our weekends when my dad was working (which was most of the time), by zipping us all around Juarez—any basic American excursion like grocery shopping, grabbing a pizza, going to the movies or park, was so different, but nonetheless fun.

Intermingled with that fun was the real fear that my dad wouldn’t take us back home. He had intimated as much to my mom during heated arguments before and after the divorce. It was a scary time to be a six-year-old, so my mom taught us how to memorize landmarks and phone numbers, even directions on how to get back to the international bridge, and what to tell authorities if my dad ever got a fit of the crazies. It never came to that, thank goodness, but films like Not Without My Daughter fascinated my grandparents, mom, brother and I. We could seriously relate to the fear of being trapped in another country against your will.

That being said, last weekend I got an itch to arm chair travel to the Middle East, but couldn’t for the life of me find my copy of The Kite Runner, a book I’ve been avoiding since it was published.
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